At 2142 eastern standard time (est), on December 20, 1995, American Airlines Flight 965 (AA965), a Boeing 757-223, N651AA, on a regularly scheduled passenger flight from Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida, U.S.A., to Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport (SKCL), in Cali, Colombia, operating under instrument flight rules (IFR), crashed into mountainous terrain during a descent from cruise altitude in visual meteorological conditions (VMC). The accident site was near the town of Buga, 33 miles northeast of the Cali VOR (CLO). The airplane impacted at about 8,900 feet mean sea level (msl), near the summit of El Deluvio and approximately 10 miles east of Airway W3. Of the 155 passengers, 2 flightcrew members, and 6 cabincrew members on board, 4 passengers survived the accident.
On the previous flight under a different crew, the airplane arrived at MIA from Guayaquil, Equador, at 1438, on December 20, 1996. The Guayaquil to MIA flightcrew reported that there were no significant maintenance or operations-related discrepancies on the airplane. The captain and first officer of AA965 (MIA to SKCL) arrived at the airline's MIA operations office about 1 hour before the proposed departure time of 1640. The operations base manager later stated that both the captain and first officer were in his office about 40 minutes before the required check-in time, and appeared to be in good spirits.